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26 May 2024

Palin whips up a storm at a Tea Party

Conservative darling Sarah Palin Saturday wowed a new grassroots Republican rightwing movement, vowing 2010 would be a great year, and laying down the gauntlet to President Barack Obama.

And she warned the mainstream Republican party to ignore the so-called "Tea Party" movement at its peril, saying she was "speaking on behalf of millions and millions and millions of Americans who want to encourage this movement."

As Republicans delight in a new found political energy after being routed in the 2008 presidential elections, Palin said the tide was turning in favor of conservative politics ahead of November mid-term congressional elections.

She pointed to the victory in Massachusetts last month when Republican Scott Brown won a senate seat held for more than four decades by Democrat Ted Kennedy as a sign that Republicans were on their way back up.

"This is the movement and America is ready for another revolution and you are a part of this," she said in her usual folksy style, bringing the crowd in a posh Nashville, Tennessee, hotel to its feet.

"This movement is about the people who can argue of a movement that is about the people and for the people."

Initially mocked, the Tea Party movement has been steadily gaining ground since being launched in the wake of the Republican Party's 2008 drubbing.

Republican presidential candidate John McCain and Palin, his vice-presidential pick, lost heavily to the Obama and his Democrats, leaving the Grand Old Party floundering and leaderless.

Amid speculation Palin might make a bid for presidency in 2012, she brushed aside her own political ambitions saying everyone had a role to play.

"You don't need a proclaimed leader as if we are all a bunch of sheep and looking for a leader to progress this movement," she said.